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25 February 2015 // World Congress // Pharmaceutical Patent Issues // Panellist Questions - Sessions 2 and 6
Dr. Roberto Pistolesi

Breakout Session 3.1 - Pharmaceutical Patent Issues

Top-level speakers, representing conflicting interests, are speaking at the pharma patent session of FICPI World Congress 2015 in Cape Town.

The session will essentially deal with "incremental" pharmaceutical patent rights, namely those patent rights covering innovations on a patented active principle, such as new dosages, new combinations, new forms (like polymorphs or enantiomers) or new methods of use.

Concerns have in fact been raised that this strategy, which is frequently referred to as "evergreening", might be used to prolong patent protection in an inappropriate manner, thus creating a negative effects on access to medicines as well as on further innovation. 

Several countries, mainly developing and least developed countries (such as India, Philippines, Brazil but also Australia), have changed or are considering changing their laws or practices in order to prevent "evergreening".

On the other hand, "incremental" patent rights may nevertheless confer new and inventive clinical improvements, therapeutic advantages or the like. And may thus deserve patent protection.

The speakers have been selected to provide the audience with different, if not opposite, points of view and stimulate a discussion:
  • Jürgen Dressel, Head Global Patent Litigation Strategy of Norvartis Pharma AG, will represent the originators’ point of view.
  • Fiona Bor, Vice President and Global Head of Regional IP of Mylan, will represent the genericists’ one;
  • Louis Harms, Hon Justice (former Deputy President of the Supreme Court of Appeal) and Professor at the Adams & Adams Chair in IP at the University of Pretoria, will represent the law; and
  • Ellen ‘t Hoen, Founder of the Medicines Patent Pool, will speak on behalf of those people who need an easy and affordable access to medicines.
The session will be moderated by Roberto Pistolesi, European patent attorney at Dragotti & Associati and chairman of FICPI’s study commission dealing with life science-related inventions.

The goals of the session include understanding whether the concerns raised with respect to “evergreening” are justified or whether (and how) it would be possible to protect both the interest of patent holders and public health.
Dr. Madelein M. Kleyn

Plenary Session 2 - Users of the IP System

Is the IP system sufficiently innovative to adapt to the needs of an ever-changing industry, both large and small? How do big businesses value the portfolios they acquire? How do they justify their IP budgets? How long can the current scenario last? What are the IP needs of SME’s which in many countries are the driving force of the economy? How should the IP strategy of a business change when the business itself changes? How to compete in this crowded sphere? Does industry require a different (or new) IP system that can more effectively support its goals? Has the IP system become too slanted towards favouring big business?

The uses of the IP system are:
  • Dr. Andrew Bailey, University of Cape Town
  • Ms. Morne Barradas, Sasol
  • Dr. Rocco Fiato, Accelergy Corporation
Please post your questions for the speakers using the Discussion pages on the website.  Please click here to post your question.  

Please note: the discussion pages will only appear after you have logged into the website.  
Please contact if you require login credentials.
R. Danny Huntington

Plenary Session 6 - IP Offices

The complexity of subject-matter for which patents are sought and the number of filings worldwide are both increasing. At the same time, IP-related costs are being criticised, product life cycles are becoming shorter and multinationals often dominate the patent scene, leaving many SMEs lagging behind. On the other hand there is a belief that in many spheres the rate of innovation is decreasing.

In light of the needs of users of the IP system, how has the role of IP offices changed and how should it change further to handle the influx of filings, but still not stifle growth? Has the IP system changed to meet the reality of today’s fast-moving global marketplace? What is the role of IP offices in the world’s zest for recovery from recession?

Leaders from various IP offices will be interviewed as a panel to: (a) respond to the views expressed by users during Session 2, and (b) answer questions sent in advance by delegates attending the Congress. 

Please click here to post your questions.

Please note: the discussion pages will only appear after you have logged into the website.  
Please contact if you require login credentials.

Attending the World Congress

Attendance at a FICPI World Congress is normally limited to members of the Federation.  FICPI urges that anyone wishing to attend the Congress who is not a FICPI member, should apply for FICPI membership as soon as possible. 
  1. The normal application process for FICPI membership (in the absence of any difficulties) takes around 4 to 6 weeks.
  2. If an individual, who is not a member of FICPI, wishes to attend the Congress, they would need to apply for membership ASAP and FICPI would endeavour to expedite the application process.  If the application looks favourable, FICPI may give the candidate, in advance of the Congress, a preliminary opinion on the likely success of the application.  
  3. If the application process is not completed or runs into difficulty by the time of the Congress, then the candidate may be given temporary provisional membership and “observer status” at the Congress.
If you are interested in joining, please visit
FICPI World Congress - 13-17 April 2015
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